By Scott Morgan
In recent days, President Trump received a strategy from the Pentagon about how the US Military can take the proper steps to destroy Islamic Terror Groups.
One of these groups has been able to survive for several years in the Horn of Africa: Al-Shabaab. This group came into existence after the defeat of the Islamic Courts Union which attempted to form a Government during the time of anarchy in Somalia. The Islamists were driven from power by neighboring Ethiopia with copious assistance from the United States.
So now, in 2017, Somalia has had a Change of Government. Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo was recently elected President of the Country. The threat within the Country remains unabated and has spread into neighboring Kenya. But there have been some serious questions regarding how Al-Shabaab not only has been able to survive but also to recruit new fighters and raise funds.
One focus group that has been targeted by the Islamic Group has been within the Diaspora. In particular the teenagers who have not been able to assimilate into the society of the host nation have been a source of recruits. This has been an effective target used among the Somali community living in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) region, in Minnesota.
Just how good of a resource has the Twin Cities been for the Somali Group? They have been able to recruit at least 2 suicide bombers that have launched attacks within Somalia, The Community has been coerced into providing critical financial support to pay fighters and purchase weapons when needed. Just last year, a Security Guard at the Minneapolis Airport was arrested for assisting several youths seeking to travel to Somalia and join the group. Basically, the group has been able to create and sustain a support network within the United States.
Two months ago, the Group released a video highlighting their ability to recruit in Minnesota. They even took the opportunity to taunt Donald Trump as well before he took the oath of office as President of the United States. But there are some crucial questions that have to be asked: what if this is not the only location where the group is recruiting and raising funds within the United States?
There are other communities in the country where there are sizable Somali populations: San Diego, Columbus, Ohio and San Antonio - which are just some of the notable communities where links to the group have been investigated.in the past. But it is interesting to note that the focus by Al-Shabaab is on the community residing in Minnesota. Why is that? Is it because of prior successes in fundraising and recruiting fighters? What if there is a network of Lawyers and other professionals that are providing support to this group?
It appears that even if there is a defeat of Al-Shabaab - either in Somalia or Kenya - that the potential for replacement fighters for their ideology and vision exists. Some of this network is in the region itself some of this is being done in Europe and some is being done within the USA.
(Image: Al-Shabaab militants - Google Images)